Paper dolls and muscle memory, what do they have in common, you might ask. With a cursory glance they don’t, but if you look closer, you’ll see that my paper dolls have clay faces, and I make a lot of clay faces.
Muscle memory comes into the picture when I feel as if I can make and paint the faces in my sleep. That is how art is sometimes.
The more you practice art, the deeper you get with the process, and much of the action comes from using your muscles to repeat the process. You don’t worry about it; you just do it.
MAKING ART FRIGHTENS ME
When people sit down at an art table for the first time, it’s like the first time they sit in the car they’re supposed to drive. It’s intimidating and scary, but somehow you overcome the fear and “let it roll.”
That’s why art classes are a good way to get going with art. A good teacher will take you by the virtual hand and show you what to do, as with any new subject you approach. Think of it like learning a new language. At first, you only know a few words. After a year or so, you can speak haltingly and understand much of what people say in that language.
ART IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS NEW
Unless you paint the same motif every day, you’ll face the challenge of putting something on the blank page. Many artists paint the same style and motifs over and over, and they learn from that, but how do you explore wider vistas? You can add an element to the well-trod path. If you paint, incorporate some paper collage, or use colors you stay away from normally.
To grow as artists, we have to go down unfamiliar paths, but what we’ve learned along the way, is easy, it comes without struggle, like muscle memory for those who lift weights. You trust that your hands can do the work!
Let’s get back to paper dolls. I have had many questions on how to paint clay faces, so I made a video, How to paint clay faces, Part 1.
The faces evolved into funky paper dolls, so you can check out the second video, How to add a painted face to a mixed media paper doll, Part 2.
I realized the faces could be used with so many styles, and how you dress the dolls, is a challenge because there are so many choices. The possibilities are endless. That’s where the exploration begins. But make a clay face first. It’s not that hard!
I’ve been busy in my studio this month, and sales are picking up since January. I’ve sold a lot of different items, and when I sell one, I usually make a replacement. Here are some samples, and these only include my etsy items, not my art journal pages.
The whimsy girl in the striped jersey is a popular items. I’ve made several. Maybe it’s the stripes?? The Love You More plaque was a custom order, the largest plaque I’ve made with my painted tiles, 10×10″.
I also really enjoyed making the “twin flame” driftwood and clay wand. Something new for me even though I sneaked in two clay faces!
Okay, what are you working on? I’d love to see some paper dolls with clay faces from you. You can send pictures to:
I love seeing other people’s art!
I wish you loads of inspiration in March, and productive happiness. ‘Til the next time, lot’s of love.
If you must have one of my latest items, please check out my etsy shop, Earth and Faery.